3 O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?
1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
I have always heard it isn’t what your life is, it is the attitude you face it with. It is like seeing the glass either half full or half empty. The first part of my life I was a ‘see the glass half full’ kind of person. For a time in my adult life I became a ‘see the glass the half empty’. Thank God, He got me back to the positive, faith filled way of seeing things. Even now I can still slip back to the ‘seeing the glass half empty’, but thank God He is still there to bring me back around and that attitude is almost extinct in me.
Recently, I did have a relapse in my attitude because my life has been forced into a simplification that is beyond anything I have ever known before. At first, after our house sold and we were forced to live in our travel trailer, I looked at it as an adventure. But, when that adventure began to turn into not just a month or two but MONTHS, the adventurous aspect of it began to wane.
I felt a despondency beginning to try to overtake me. I began to think of what it would be like if this turned into years! I lost the adventurous, this is fun, a perpetual camp out attitude and I began to feel panicked and desperate to find a house with a concrete slab instead of tires!
One day recently, as I lay flat on my back…I had thrown it out…the thought came to me, “When did this become hard? I was actually loving it at first!” I realized I had crossed over from faith to fear. I had crossed over from trust to ‘Another one of your doozies, Juliana!’ Oh, how the devil loves to play that broken record over and over in my mind.
God began to show me all I had done RIGHT! Wow!! That is a new concept on this thing!! I sold my home when God said to…obedience is a major step in the right direction! I sold when I didn’t know where we were going to end up…total and blind trust…another God pleasing thing! I had learned to live with less and with true simplicity. All the clutter was gone from my life and God wanted the same of my spiritual and emotional life, not just my physical.
Living a life of simplicity is wonderful!! You can live without things you never thought you could. I had no idea how much junk we had accumulated over the years. Books, books, and more books that I didn’t even remember I had, much less did I read them! Crochet yarn piled almost to the ceiling…great gift for a knitter friend of mine since I only crochet once a year! Clothes from the 80’s…literally! I could go on, but this is a blog not a book!
As I began to decide to think of what to throw away, give away, and keep my questions to myself were, “Have I used it in the last year? Is it an heirloom? Is it necessary?” If my answer was yes to any of those, it stayed…very little stayed. Those three questions brought such great simplicity and joy to my life!
By the time hubby and I moved into the trailer, we were down to a spring/summer wardrobe ( the fall/winter is in storage) that consisted of 2 weeks worth of clothes and accessories. I have a section in my closet for the casual, semi-dressy, and Sunday clothes. One closet! That alone, amazed me and it relieved me!!
No more frantic searches on Sundays for my black travelers pants and that blouse I haven’t worn in a year, but I remembered it when I burped from my last bite of pizza…yeah, that had to be what jogged my memory! I had minimized and simplified and ‘oh what a relief it is’!
Suddenly, I realized God wanted the same from me in my mental and emotional life. Now, all people are important! We love ALL people! Jesus did, but notice Jesus only kept 12 close to Him. Why did He do that while He was on the earth? I think it was because the more you ‘entertain’ the less you can focus on what is important.
There are some people who juggle fifty different things in a week. They have friends who they hang out with that fingers and toes could not count, and that is fine; But, for me, relationships have to be categorized. Have I talked to this person in the last year? Why or why not? Is this person someone who will build me or tear me down spiritually? Is this person someone who I can trust or someone who would betray me? Is this person someone who enriches my life or brings sorrow and fatigue?
I am very careful about who I bring close. All Christians should be careful of who you bring close! Paul even warned the church to not even eat with people who practiced sin. It tells us in 1 Corinthians a man/woman of good character will be brought down if they make those who are not of good character close companions.
I heard about a young man who was a wonderful person! He had been someone who was respected by friends, family and his church community. This young man began to make friends with people who were more than a little rough around the edges, so to speak. It wasn’t long until this young man began to do little things the new friends did.
He began to drink, and then drink a little more and a little more often. It wasn’t long until the ‘old friends’ began to be pushed away and more of the rough friends began to come on the scene. This young man soon found himself overwhelmed in the new lifestyle he had developed. He ended up in jail one night after a drinking binge. His lawyer entered the room where he was and said, ‘Get rid of your ‘friends’, son. If you don’t you will find yourself here for a much longer time!’
I spoke with this young man, and he told me while he was in jail someone told him, ‘You lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.’ Now the friends didn’t make him do anything, but their ways definitely rubbed off on him. ‘You are who you hang with’, is a saying I always told my children, and I could always tell when they were ‘hanging’ with the wrong people.
Now the ‘glass half full’ to this story is, the more we ‘hang’ with God, the more like Him and His character we become. The wiser we are because we learn to think as He thinks. We love like Him, because that is what He is. We take on His dignity, because we have been with the “King” and realize we are a King’s child! Children always imitate the father. Make sure you are a good parent, your influence carries much farther than you know!
Ask yourself, “Is it time to minimize some things and some relationships in my life?” Let God show you the answer to be sure you answer correctly and do the right thing! Take off the weights of busyness and things. We often fail to hear from God the way the apostles and disciples did, not because it was just for Biblical times, but because our ‘times’ have become times of ‘too much to do and too little time to do it in’.
In minimizing, you will find you actually maximize what is truly important in life and you have had the time to think and pray about what that really is!
1 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.
I knew this day was coming. I have not been caught off guard or by surprise, but I still feel disappointed it did. I knew when we sold our house there would not be another waiting just around the corner in time. I have been to this dog and pony show before. At the same time, I didn’t expect it would take so long to find another house.
I would love to be able to walk into Wal-Mart, ask someone where their ‘Houses for Sale’ aisle is and just pick up what I want and need, land and all! I really didn’t think it would be much harder than that. We sold when God told us to and I just thought we would wait about a month at the most and BAM, there would be our reward for prompt obedience! It isn’t happening exactly like that.
Evidently we are going through a ‘maturing’ phase, a trust phase, and a ‘don’t you dare be jealous of someone else’s blessing’ phase! I have heard in the last month of two couples we know that found MY dream home, and paid next to nothing for it…well they paid what we were looking to pay.
Oh, my eyes turned heavenward and, in all honesty, these thoughts came to my mind, “That is great God, but where is mine? Really? Seriously? They turn a corner, look up one classified, and there it is! I am scouring every resource I can find and coming up with nothing! Forgive me, Father! I am happy for them, but I am the blessed, too and I have waited for 30 years on this.”
I have to be honest, dear reader, I truly don’t know what the lesson is. I have searched my heart and soul, had hubby search his and soul and, not that we are perfect, we truly can’t find anything that is so horrible that it would make us homeless and living in someone else’s backyard in a travel trailer.
I am grateful we have a place to live, be it ever so humble. Many tonight will sleep on concrete and have next to nothing to eat in the days and weeks to come. Nevertheless, this is NOT the blessing of Abraham we have been promised and I know God doesn’t lie.
I think my greatest concern is can I hear Him as I need to? Did He try to tell me about the house in the country that was a ‘steal’, did He try to move us to another state, did He try to tell me what classified to look at, or even what prayer I should have prayed to receive what I need, and was I to ditsy not to hear it? Did I miss Him? I don’t know.
I do take this comfort in knowing sheep are truly stupid animals. They will literally walk off a cliff and accidentally kill themselves if the shepherd isn’t watching closely. We are compared to sheep for a reason. My Shepherd is watching, and oh how I long to feel and know His guidance. He will not allow me to walk off a cliff into a pit of bad decisions, and He will lead me by His Spirit. In the meantime, I pray I can rest in the pasture I have been placed in for this time and remember my Shepherd can always be trusted to do what is best for all the sheep, including me.
28 We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
New King James Version (NKJV)
15 My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.
English Standard Version (ESV)
15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 My times are in Your hands; deliver me from the hands of my foes and those who pursue me and persecute me.
Fear is a horrible thing because it brings great torment to our minds. Fear is what satan uses to try to control us. If he can slip into our thinking with fear, he can literally get us to a place we cannot even leave our homes for fear of what could happen to us if we leave what we feel is a secure sanctuary.
Fear will kill you if you let it. Fear causes stress, disease, and even mental illness. How do we overcome fear? How do we live fearless lives? How do we live filled with peace everyday of our lives? Let us look at what God says about freedom from fear!
Notice in the verse from John 14, Jesus tells us to not let our hearts be troubled (fearful, anxious). This tells us WE have the power through the Holy Spirit to control fear. When my children were younger, they would ask me if I would let them spend the night with a friend or if they could do other various things. I had to give permission to my children for them to know I was letting them or allowing them to do what they were asking to do. When we “let” something happen, we have given permission or allowed something to take place.
Many times fear will come knocking on the door of my mind, and if I don’t guard my thoughts as the Bible tells me to, I will inadvertently allow that thought to come in and bring great trepidation with it. Let me give you an example. My husband is a federal agent. When the government shut down recently my husband was furloughed. I began to really read the news, watch the news, and pay close attention to articles in special news magazines. I noticed the more I did this, the more my mind became anxious! I began to pray less, and I began to think more on the state of our country and how hopeless it seemed. Needless to say, this was not building me up in my “most holy faith”, as God’s word tells us to do!
I went to the doctor during this time and got some blood work back that unnerved me as well. I had been having symptoms of what the blood work indicated and when I saw the results were positive I was a bit upset. I went from being a bit upset to being full blown afraid!! Let me tell you, when fear comes on you it is more than a little disturbing! If you have ever been panic stricken, you know it is literally tormenting! You feel completely out of control and hopeless. This is in no way God! What has happened? We have allowed fear to oppress us, unknowingly, yet still very effectively!
You must never forget God tells us fear is a spirit! It says in Ephesians 6:12, For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Our battle is not a physical battle. I cannot pick up a gun and shoot satan and then say, ‘Well, that takes care of that’. I have to pray, seek God’s word, and stand on His promises to defeat fear and bring faith back on the scene of my mind and life!
In order to defeat your enemy, you have to know who the enemy is! When we were in the Korean war, our soldiers were not sent to England to fight it. Remember people are not your enemy! The enemy is the devil! Love the person, but pray for the area the enemy has accessed to oppress and even use them to bring fear into our lives! Fight on the right battleground, which is in the Spirit!
During the Korean war, our soldiers didn’t wear the fatigues they wore in “Operation Desert Storm“. When our soldiers fought in “Desert Storm”, they wore khaki and brown fatigues because their fatigues had to match the terrain in which they were fighting. Had we sent our soldiers out wearing the green fatigues they had to wear in Korea, they would have been sitting ducks! Our military had to have a strategy to protect our men and women during that war, and to win the war. It is the same with the battle that rages in the realm of the spirit. God tells us to put on the full armor of God to win against satan in Ephesians 6:10-20! God will give you scriptures to stand on, tell you what to pray as you ought, and He will give you instructions on how to overcome if we will take the time to listen. God will give you the strategy for victory every time!
I had defeated by the blood of Jesus and the word of God a spirit of fear years ago, but I had through feeding on the news more than the word allowed, without realizing it, the fear to creep back in. God reminded me to pick my scriptures on fear back up and CONFESS them daily! I was to plead the blood of Jesus against fear, and I was to guard my mind concerning the news. I was to stay informed, but to pray instead of fretting. God did not want me to have more secular news coming into my mind instead of the “good news” of His word! More word, more power! Balance is a very important thing, and I had gotten out of balance in this area!
Here are scriptures God gave me to stand on and meditate on when fear would try to overtake me. Pray these scriptures, think on them instead of what is trying to scare you or bring anxiety to you! These verses will bring you great peace because God tells us His word is alive and it performs what He has sent it to do and will not return to Him void (without having a full effect)! I also make certain confessions where these are concerned and I will list those after the verses as well. God bless you, precious reader, as you apply them to your own life!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
3 For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4 [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8 Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,
10 There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11 For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12 They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.
1. I will face the day with joy and not dread for I am hidden by God from disaster and evil…Verse 1
2. I am healed, whole, and healthy because no evil shall befall me nor any plague (in the Hebrew, plague translates ‘disease’) shall come nigh my dwelling (translates ‘body’)! verse 10…What isn’t from God is from the enemy and God wants me well, therefore when symptoms ATTACK me, it isn’t coming from God! God would never attack me! The devil wants me sick, not God!! My body functions to perfection!
3. I am protected at all times! Verses 7-16
4. I will live and live well until I am satisfied! Verse 16 and 3 John 1:2
5. Good things are coming to me ALL the days of my life, not bad, and I will be satisfied with my life! Verse 16 and Psalm 23:6
6. I do not fear or dread bad news. Psalm 112:7
7. All my needs are met. I do not lack any good thing! Psalm 34:10, 3 John 1:2
8. I live in the blessing of God…My life is not cursed because Jesus took the curse for me! Deuteronomy 28:2, Galations 3:13
9. No known or secret thing shall reign in my life for God vindicates and keeps me from enemies’ evil tactics! Isaiah 54:17
10. I can do all things! No challenge today will cause me stress or make me give up! God will show me how to do what I could not have done on my own! Phillipians 4:13
11. I am God’s favored, therefore I can walk in confidence knowing good things are coming to me no matter what the circumstances look like! Psalm 5:12